Causes for Enlarged Thyroid
|December 11, 2012||Posted by admin under Thyroid|
Many questions besides causes for enlarged thyroid must be swirling through your mind: Can an enlarged thyroid be normal? What does a large thyroid mean? What are the signs and symptoms of enlarged thyroid? All these questions have merit simply because the thyroid, despite its relatively small size performs very important functions in the body, of which any changes can affect your overall health.
But first, what exactly is the thyroid and symptoms associated with enlarged thyroid? It is a butterfly-shaped gland located just below the Adam’s apple, which is responsible for numerous aspects of metabolism from your heart rate to body temperature to calorie burning speed.
When you have and enlarged thyroid gland, your doctor will look at two aspects – size and function. In some instances, an enlarged neck or gland is not cause for concern in itself while in other cases, you do have cause to be concerned. Your doctor should tell you in which category you fall into.
For size, your doctor will decide whether to adopt a wait and see approach or to aggressively treat it with surgery and medications. For function, your physician will determine the causes for enlarged thyroid in your case and how these affect normal gland functioning.
There is good news because most causes of an enlarged thyroid gland are benign. In fact, thyroid cancer is not the usual cause for the entire thyroid glad to become enlarged although other symptoms like coughing and hoarseness as well as difficulty in breathing and swallowing are experienced. Still, it is a good precaution to perform a simple biopsy to rule out thyroid cancer.
Aside from thyroid cancer, there are other causes for enlarged thyroid, such as:
* Hyperthyroidism – The thyroid produces too much hormones, thus, leading to symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, increased sweating, irregular heart rate, frequent bowel movements and diarrhea, shaky hands, unexplained weight loss and lighter periods for women and erectile dysfunction for men.
* Hypothyroidism – In this case, the thyroid produces too little hormones. Symptoms include feeling listless and feeling cold, slow heart rate, constipation, unexplained weight gain as well as heavier periods for women and erectile dysfunction for men.
* Graves’ Disease – Known as diffuse toxic goiter, it is more common in women than in men. Symptoms include enlarged thyroid gland, bulging eyes, difficulty breathing and excess perspiration, to name a few.
Regardless of the causes for enlarged thyroid, you must take action lest you suffer from worse symptoms. Keep in mind that goiter can kill despite its funny appearance.
Fortunately, there are many options for treatment for an enlarged thyroid gland. Your doctor will recommend medications and surgery as well as natural thyroid hormone treatment options such as lifestyle and diet changes.
Both the scientific and the alternative thyroid treatments must be done under the supervision of your doctor. This is because some herbal thyroid treatment options can counteract the beneficial effects of medications. Thus, if you are taking a natural thyroid supplement, be sure to inform your doctor about it.
The causes for enlarged thyroid can be resolved if and when you seek treatment as early as possible. After all, the diseases associated with the thyroid are very curable so there is no reason to delay your treatment.